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Thread: Binocular session 08242018

  1. #1
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    Default Binocular session 08242018



    I'm visiting friends in the Wilmington NC area, and it's nice and dark compared to where I usually observe. So I took an opportunity to gaze up with the binoculars for a bit after everyone had gone to bed. I couldn't transport any of my telescopes, sadly - how do babies so small take so much space with their stuff??
    Here's what I saw:

    First, before fully dark, I took a look at Venus and Jupiter, as well as the full moon. You can tell there is a disc with the planets, but not much else. You could make out at least one moon to the West of Jupiter, I think it was Callisto based on Sky Safari.

    After dark, I jumped around a bit, somewhat haphazardly, without a plan. Spotting Saturn (which again showed a disc but not any real structure and you can't tell there are rings at 8x), I explored that Sagittarius region. Found M24, the Sagittarius Star Cloud, to the NE - only the brightest members show and slight haziness, but not the real spectacular view one wants with this. Surprisingly, the Lagoon Nebula, M8, showed clear nebulosity, around the cluster. I had not expected that, very nice! M21 showed as a small hazy object. I could not see the Trifid at all.

    Moving up towards Aquila, I targeted one of the doubles highlighted in the "targets for light-polluted skies" list in Sky Safari, Alya, Theta Ser, new. Tight double, but, somewhat to my surprise, split very closely in the binoculars. The separation between the main components is close to 7'. There is a third in the system, but would not be in binoculars splitting range.

    Moving South from there, with the help of the Aquila guideposts, I found M11, The Wild Duck Cluster, in Scutum. It actually shows as a nebulosity in binoculars, interesting contrast to the busy, tight star formation seen in the dob.

    Staying in that general part of the sky but moving North, I wanted to see what I could find in Ophiuchus. I scanned a bit, then pointed to Cebalrai, Beta Oph, and just NE of it I looked at IC 4665, new, nice large and bright open cluster.

    I passed close to zenith, and took a quick look at M13, which showed as a small fuzzy, and headed North.
    I could see the Andromeda stars pretty well, so I made the Beta-to-Mu-to-Nu hop to look at M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. Very nice view, small but clearly visible nebulosity - just the core visible.

    Then in the Cassiopeia region, I went to Ruchbach and found M103, open cluster, NE of it, showing as a small nebulosity with maybe one or two stars barely made out inside. Then dropping from Navi to Ruchbach and continuing on, I stopped at NGC 869 and NGC 884, the Double Cluster. Nice view, but a bit too bright for it to show its full potential. It showed as the brightest central stars in each cluster center, with some diffuse extension from there. And really down to the horizon, Mel 20, the Alpha Persei Group, was visible, but only the brightest members. This one is bright enough to overcome adverse conditions.


    At this point I decided I had to finally go to bed! Thanks for reading along. A pair of binos can be a good friend
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    Default Re: Binocular session 08242018

    Nice objects seen in your binoculars. The Alpha Persei group is certainly one of the most beautiful star-formations visible in a 8X binoculars, as it fits nicely in the field of view, and bright as well! Once outside, one shouldn't miss it!
    Thanks for your nice report! You described it well!
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    Default Re: Binocular session 08242018

    A familiar binocular path for me as well - I like to scan along the backbone of the Milky Way and pick out each object. Sounds like a nice evening.
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    Default Re: Binocular session 08242018

    Thank you for a nice session report.
    Well described viewings.
    Clear skies
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    Default Re: Binocular session 08242018

    Very nice binocular tour, Codrin! Fun to just sit back and put glass to eye and utilize the sky map in your head and quietly name names. Good stuff!
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    Default Re: Binocular session 08242018

    Very nice report Roc! Looking forward to treading a similar path when I bring my 8 x 35 binocs to some suburban skies on Memorial Day weekend. Probably won't see as much, but it'll be my first binoc session away from home.
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